When Carlo Ancelotti was first appointed Chelsea manager back in 2009, the Guardian ran a piece that claimed the appointment was a risk.
Over six years on from the Italian’s two-term stint at Stamford Bridge, there’s a feeling his return to the Premier League would be greeted with far less scepticism.
Two domestic leagues, numerous cups and a third Champions League title later, it’s likely that Ancelotti would generate a similar level of hysteria to that recently meted out for Jurgen Klopp.
According to the man himself, the red carpet may be needed as early as next January, as the Italian feels ready to return to management and eyes another crack at the Premier League.
The news will pique the interest of a number of top-flight sides, not least the Blues, who find themselves floundering in the third season of Jose Mourinho’s homecoming.
Manchester City , who are incessantly linked with a move for Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, are likely to take note too.
However, it is a third elite outfit that need to take Ancelotti’s open invitation to recruit most seriously.
Arsenal are creeping ever closer to the day when Arsene Wenger calls time on his north London stay, upon which time panic will course through the club.
Moving on from a long-term relationship is tough, not least in football where Manchester United’s first season without Sir Alex Ferguson is a concerning harbinger for the Gunners.
Finding a successor to the Frenchman will be no easy task. Indeed, many other bookmakers make the recently-hired Klopp the favourite to take the Emirates reins next. It’s a task that will be made all the more difficult should the club pass up the opportunity to hire a genuine star of the dugout like Ancelotti.
The Gunners will have to be decisive if they are to land the former AC Milan boss. The 56-year-old has set a countdown for his return in motion with his January timeframe.
The move depends on a number of factors too. Wenger needs to be pushed into an early departure first of all, while Ancelotti needs to agree to take over from the start of the 2016/17 season, thus ruling him out of other jobs.
It wouldn’t be the first time such a deal was made though. Bayern Munich swooped in similar fashion to land Guardiola while Jupp Heynckes was still in charge, and had no plans to retire.
Arsenal showing the same foresight and conviction would be surprising and impressive in equal measure.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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